World music and dance fest at Scripps Park to celebrate nonprofit milestone
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 05/10/13 - 12:51 PM | 266880 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Encinitas resident Shalini Patnaik is a professional Odissi dancer (a classical dance from Orissa, India). Patnaik has been studying Odissi with the Center for World Music since she was a child.
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Lively musical scores, vibrant dance performances, colorful traditional costumes and multicultural fare will converge in La Jolla from exotic locales around the globe for a free festival to fete the Center for World Music’s 50th anniversary.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 11, master performing musicians, dancers and teachers will entertain guests with live performances, host interactive demonstrations and present festival goers with a deeper understanding and appreciation of dynamic performing arts traditions from around the world at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.

“The Center for World Music believed that the best way to celebrate its 50 years of fostering awareness and understanding of the world’s performing arts traditions would be to present different traditions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe every 15 to 30 minutes in Scripps Park during a daylong festival that would be free to the public,” said John Gabriel, executive director of the Center for World Music.

To pay homage to the center’s master teachers who teach hands-on instruction to thousands of San Diego’s K-12 students each week, the outdoor format of the festival gives students an opportunity to see their teachers perform, as well as help educate the general public about musical traditions and creativity the world over.

“Scripps Park is a beautiful outdoor location — one that matches the exuberant outdoor performing arts traditions from around the world that will be featured at the festival,” said Gabriel. “Festival goers will be encouraged to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the world’s performing arts traditions by meeting with master artists who can demonstrate how to play unfamiliar musical instruments and teach traditional dances from around the globe.”

Throughout the year, the Center for World Music presents the opportunity for K-12 students to take part in weekly, hands-on world music and dance instruction in schools throughout San Diego. The nonprofit also provides opportunities for the public to enjoy affordable, high-quality public concerts and free or inexpensive hands-on workshops to expand their cultural understanding of varied performing arts traditions.

“The essence of the Center for World Music consists of its cadre of native master musicians and dancers from around the world with whom the organization collaborates,” said Gabriel.

And with many exciting things to look forward to in the future — like the center’s recent receivership of a $50,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant and its impending establishment of the San Multicultural Coalition in conjunction with Mayor Bob Filner — the Center for World Music will undoubtedly continue implementing its unique and grand vision for another 50 years to come.

The 50th anniversary festival is free and open to the public between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, visit

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